Can end-to-end encryption really secure your WhatsApp chats? Here is everything you need to know

  • Gayatri
  • Saturday | 26th September, 2020

The recent leak of chats in ongoing drug probe and Sushant Singh Rajput case has raised various concern of chats privacy. Despite the leak of chats, WhatsApp claims that its platform is secure and keeps conversations safe and end-to-end encrypted.

WhatsApp has over two billion users around the world hence keeping the messaging platform secure is utmost important. Time and again social media giant Facebook -owned instant messaging platform has stated that all chats happening on WhatsApp are safe and secure and can’t be accessed by a third party, in fact not even WhatsApp. However, some of the recent incidents around the leak of WhatsApp chats of popular Bollywood actors tell a different story altogether.

Over the past few months, reports have shown leaked WhatsApp chats of Bollywood actors in the ongoing drug probe and Sushant Singh Rajput case in Mumbai, which has raised concerns among WhatsApp netizen about the privacy of their private chats with friends and others on the messaging platform. Despite the leak of chats, WhatsApp claims that its platform is secure and keeps conversations safe and end-to-end encrypted.

In a statement, a WhatsApp spokesperson claimed that the platform “protects your messages with end-to-end encryption so that only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between can access it, not even WhatsApp.” He further added that “it is important to remember that people sign up on WhatsApp using only a phone number, and WhatsApp doesn’t have access to your message content’’.

However, users must know that WhatsApp backup that includes chats, documents and all other media files happen on Google Drive or Android phones and iCloud for iPhones and nothing is in WhatsApp’s hands.

It must also be noted that the backup of these files and chats on Google Drive and iCloud are not end-to-end encrypted which means it can be easily accessed by others if required unlike WhatsApp chats that can be viewed only by the sender and the receiver of the message.

According to Whatsapp ‘’end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what’s sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. Your messages are secured with locks, and only the recipient and you have the special keys needed to unlock and read your messages.”

It should be noted that each and every WhatsApp chat has a security code used to verify that calls and the messages that are sent to that chat are end-to-end encrypted.

The social media messaging platform further stated “For added protection, every message you send has a unique lock and key. All of this happens automatically: No need to turn on settings or set up special secret chats to secure your messages”.  The end-to-end encryption option on WhatsApp is always activated and there’s no way to turn off the feature.

As far as the leaked chats on some Bollywood actors are concerned, some rumors circulating on the internet suggest that the leaked WhatsApp messages of Deepika Padukone and Shradhha Kapoor were accessed by NCB (Narcotics Control Bureau) with the help of mobile phone cloning technique. This technique isn’t anything new and has been there for years now.

 You must note that mobile phone cloning is illegal for the general public to carry out but authorities like NCB can always take the forensic route to legitimately access data stored on devices. Any cloned phone can access WhatsApp chat backups stored wither in iCloud or Google Drive.

 


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